Ever been duped?

     We “feel that we have been duped” when:

> we buy something and then a little later find out that we could have purchased the same item for much less somewhere else;

> when we get a purchase home and it just doesn’t look as good or perform as well as we expected it to do;

> when we help someone complete a task and they take ALL the credit for the work;

> we give someone a break — or forgive them — and then they take advantage of us again.

      Once we feel that we have been duped [tricked, taken advantage of] we feel angry at ourselves and the other person; we feel foolish; we feel embarrassed.  In such moments we resolve that it will never happen again — and often, it does happen again.

      Perhaps like Jeremiah [Jer. 20:7-9] we feel that even God has duped us — and worse yet, we allowed it to happen.  Perhaps we believe that we have done our best to be obedient to God, yet we aren’t getting the breaks that others are getting.  Maybe we reluctantly did the “right thing” and someone else played by other rules and they got “more” than we did.  Maybe we trusted that if we did something, we would be “great in the kingdom”, but others are getting the accolades and rewards NOW.    Maybe we have litterally heard the laughter of others because we did not want to participate in gossip or some form of misbehavior — and we were derided for our faith in the “Christian” way.

         We say: ok God — that’s it — you have done this to me for the last time.  Then, time passes, a new day dawns, and once again our commitment is “like a fire burning in our heart” and off we go again, to do what we hear to be God’s will.

         In faith, we do act without immediate reward. In faith, we do things, say things, act in a certain way — without SEEING a result.  Maybe like so many people [Moses, Dr. Martin Luther King, parents, coaches, teachers, etc.] we go about our task without any assurance of seeing THE PROMISED LAND. 

           To think as God thinks, not as human beings do — [Mt. 16:21-27]  If we fail to think as God thinks [example, Peter] we are an obstacle to God.]  What does this mean — to think not as God does, but merely as a human?  Could it be — acting only with reason with no sense of faith?  could it be to act by merely weighing what I gain or lose without any thought of what is fair and just and right?  When someone fails to share helpful information with someone else, hoping that they don’t discover it, could this be worldly thinking and not kingdom thinking?  When we help someone, hoping they will in turn do some favor for us, what kind of thinking/acting is that?

For reflection:

+ when was a time when you feel you were duped or tricked or taken advantage of?

+ when was a time when you feel that God duped you?

+ have you been [are you now] an obstacle to some good thing happening, i.e. to a work of God?

+ when have you recently taken the easy way out rather than taking the way of hard work, the way of sacrifice, the way of the cross?

hjm

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